Charles Frederick Crisp

Last updated
Charles Frederick Crisp
33rd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
In office
December 8, 1891 March 4, 1895
Preceded by Thomas B. Reed
Succeeded byThomas B. Reed
Leader of the House Democratic Caucus
In office
December 8, 1891 March 4, 1895
Preceded by John G. Carlisle
Succeeded by James D. Richardson
Member of the U.S.HouseofRepresentatives
from Georgia's 3rd district
In office
March 4, 1883 October 23, 1896
Preceded by Philip Cook
Succeeded by Charles R. Crisp
Personal details
Born(1845-01-29)January 29, 1845
Sheffield, England
DiedOctober 23, 1896(1896-10-23) (aged 51)
Atlanta, Georgia
Political party Democratic
Profession Law

Charles Frederick Crisp (January 29, 1845 – October 23, 1896) was a United States political figure. A Democrat, he was elected as a Congressman from Georgia in 1882, and served until his death in 1896. From 1890 until his death, he was leader of the Democratic Party in the House, as either the House Minority Leader or the Speaker of the House. He was also the father of Charles R. Crisp who also served in Congress.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or simply America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, it is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe. Most of the country is located in central North America between Canada and Mexico. With an estimated population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city is New York City.

United States House of Representatives Lower house of the United States Congress

The United States House of Representatives is the lower house of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper house. Together they compose the national legislature of the United States.

Georgia (U.S. state) State in the United States

Georgia is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. Georgia is the 24th largest in area and 8th-most populous of the 50 United States. Georgia is bordered to the north by Tennessee and North Carolina, to the northeast by South Carolina, to the southeast by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by Florida, and to the west by Alabama. Atlanta, a "beta(+)" global city, is both the state's capital and largest city. The Atlanta metropolitan area, with an estimated population of 5,949,951 in 2018, is the 9th most populous metropolitan area in the United States and contains about 60% of the entire state population.



Crisp was born in Sheffield, England on January 29, 1845. Later in that year, his parents immigrated to the United States and settled in Georgia where he attended the common schools of Savannah and Macon, Georgia. At the outbreak of the American Civil War, he was temporarily residing in Luray, Virginia, with his parents, who were in the middle of a Shakespearean play tour. He enlisted in a local unit, the "Page Volunteers" of Company K, 10th Virginia Infantry, and was commissioned lieutenant. He served with that regiment until May 12, 1864, when he became a prisoner of war at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. He was held as one of the Immortal Six Hundred at Fort Pulaski, Georgia, and later transferred to Fort Delaware. After his release in June 1865, he joined his parents at Ellaville, Georgia.

Savannah, Georgia City in the United States

Savannah is the oldest city in the U.S. state of Georgia and is the county seat of Chatham County. Established in 1733 on the Savannah River, the city of Savannah became the British colonial capital of the Province of Georgia and later the first state capital of Georgia. A strategic port city in the American Revolution and during the American Civil War, Savannah is today an industrial center and an important Atlantic seaport. It is Georgia's fifth-largest city, with a 2018 estimated population of 145,862. The Savannah metropolitan area, Georgia's third-largest, had an estimated population of 389,494 in 2018.

Macon, Georgia Consolidated city-county in Georgia, United States

Macon, officially Macon–Bibb County, is a consolidated city-county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. Macon lies near the geographic center of the state, approximately 85 miles (137 km) south of Atlanta, hence the city's nickname "The Heart of Georgia".

American Civil War Internal war in the U.S. over slavery

The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North, which also included some geographically western and southern states, proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights in order to uphold slavery.

Crisp studied law at Americus, Georgia. He was admitted to the bar in 1866 and commenced practice in Ellaville. He was appointed solicitor general of the southwestern judicial circuit in 1872 and reappointed in 1873 for a term of four years. Later, he was appointed judge of the superior court of the same circuit in June 1877. Crisp was elected by the general assembly to the same office in 1878 and reelected judge for a term of four years in 1880 when resigned that office in September 1882 to accept the Democratic nomination for the United States Congress.

Americus, Georgia City in Georgia, United States

Americus is a city in Sumter County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 17,041. Americus is the home of Habitat for Humanity's international headquarters, the Windsor Hotel, The Fuller Center for Housing international headquarters, The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving, Glover Foods and other organizations.

United States Congress Legislature of the United States

The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, and consists of two chambers: the House of Representatives and the Senate. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election, though vacancies in the Senate may be filled by a gubernatorial appointment. Congress has 535 voting members: 435 representatives and 100 senators. The House of Representatives has six non-voting members representing Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia in addition to its 435 voting members. Although they cannot vote in the full house, these members can address the house, sit and vote in congressional committees, and introduce legislation.

Clara Bell Burton Clara Bell Burton.jpg
Clara Bell Burton

He married Clara Bell Burton, born in Ellaville, a little town in the southwest of Georgia, of wealthy and religious parentage. Her father, Robert Burton, was a planter before the war, owning many slaves. Both he and her mother cherished high ambitions for the future of their two daughters, and they were greatly chagrined when Charles Crisp, then a poor embryo lawyer, and who was of a theatrical family, which was abhorrent to their religious ideas, desired to marry their youngest daughter, Clara Bell, and their grief knew no bounds when they discovered that her affections had been won. Mrs. Burton, especially, was overwhelmed with sorrow, for she felt that her beautiful daughter ought to make a more ambitious marriage. Crisp did nothing underhanded. He wrote a manly letter to Mr. Burton, and in after years, when Mr. Crisp had reached distinction, Mr. Burton declared that his son-in-law had never written anything better than this letter. But although every line breathed eloquence it was all to no purpose, Mr. and Mrs. Burton would not yield. Crisp then requested a friend to go to Mr. Burton and ask that they might be married at her home. But this her parents refused, and finally, they decided to be married elsewhere. Clara Bell's sister, Ella, assisted her in providing a pretty trousseau, and one bright Sunday morning, when she was visiting her brother, who resided in the suburbs of Ellaville, Crisp drove out in his buggy and took her to his boarding place, where, in the presence of a few friends who had assembled in the little parlor, they were married. Just as the minister pronounced them man and wife a bright sunbeam came in and flooded the room. This was prophetic of their future life, which was most happy. The Sunday following Crisp and his wife united with the Methodist Church of Ellaville. Clara Bell said, "I felt I wanted to commence right, and I thought the best thing we could do, as a young married couple, was to get into the fold of a good institution like the Methodist Church." Soon Clara Bell's parents were reconciled and loved Crisp as a son, and he became the mainstay of their old age. They lived fifty-one years in the same place where they first kept house. Clara Bell, on her death-bed, said: "My life would have been marred. As old as I am I cannot think what my life would have been without him. The moon and stars revolve around him to me. My father and mother came to love him very much. He has been the dearest, sweetest husband to me, and I have loved him better than anything else on earth." [1]

Crisp served as president of the Democratic gubernatorial convention at Atlanta, Georgia, in April 1883. he was elected as a Democrat to the Forty-eighth and to the six succeeding Congresses and served from March 4, 1883, until his death. In Congress, he served as chairman of the Committee on Elections in the Fiftieth Congress, Committee on Rules in the Fifty-second and Fifty-third Congresses, and Speaker of the House of Representatives in the Fifty-second and Fifty-third Congresses. He had been nominated for United States Senator in the Georgia primary of 1896, but he died in Atlanta on October 23, 1896, and was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery in his hometown of Americus. Georgia's Crisp County is named in his honor. [2]

Crisp County, Georgia U.S. county in Georgia

Crisp County is a county located in the central portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. As of the 2010 census, the population was 23,439. The county seat is Cordele. The county was created on August 17, 1905 and named for Charles Frederick Crisp.

See also


  1. Hinman, Ida (1895). The Washington Sketch Book.
  2. Krakow, Kenneth K. (1975). Georgia Place-Names: Their History and Origins (PDF). Macon, GA: Winship Press. p. 54. ISBN   0-915430-00-2.

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U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Philip Cook
Member of the  U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 3rd congressional district

March 4, 1883 – October 23, 1896
Succeeded by
Charles R. Crisp
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas B. Reed
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
December 8, 1891 March 4, 1893;
August 7, 1893 March 4, 1895
Succeeded by
Thomas B. Reed